Republican congressional candidate Mike Pompeo apologized Thursday after his campaign posted on its Twitter feed and Facebook page a link to a blog that uses a racial slur to refer to his Democratic opponent and calls President Barack Obama an "evil muslim communist USURPER."
Pompeo, who is running for Kansas' 4th Congressional District, said a staffer, who he declined to identify other than saying it was the campaign's communications director, posted the link to the wrong Google alert on Wednesday before the campaign realized the mistake and removed it an hour later.
Pompeo apologized to his Democratic opponent, Raj Goyle, by phone Thursday morning, and posted an apology on both websites in which he said he spent a "great deal of time visiting with the staff person who inadvertently posted the link."
"I am convinced there was no malice in his actions," Pompeo wrote.
"The statements of the blogger in no way reflect my views. There is no place in campaigns or in public discourse for language of this nature," he wrote.
Josh Wells, the campaign's communications director, declined to say whether he posted the link and referred all questions to Pompeo's posted apology.
Pompeo is white and Goyle is of Indian descent.
The offending tweet told Pompeo's followers, "Here's a good read," and linked to a blog of retired Gunnery Sgt. Bob Pinkstaff: "Just like his evil muslim communist USURPER comrad, barack hussein obama, This goyle character is just another 'turban topper' we don't need in congress or any political office that deals with the U.S. Constitution, Christianity and the United States of America!!!"
The issue garnered a lot of attention Thursday after Goyle's campaign sent out a press release accusing Pompeo's campaign of making "a conscientious and tactical decision" to find the blog, create a smaller "url" link and post it on their campaign social media.
Goyle's spokesman, Robert Becker, confirmed Pompeo personally apologized and said Goyle accepted the apology. But he also pointed out that it takes a certain technical knowledge to shrink a Web address and post it on Twitter.
"It looks to us like it was intentional," Becker said. "I will say that if anybody on this campaign were to have posted something like that about Mike Pompeo, they would be fired immediately. ... I am not asking them to do anything. I am just saying that is the standard we would adhere to."
© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.